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North Kitsap tennis ends season undefeated
POULSBO — After defeating North Mason Friday afternoon, the North Kitsap Vikings boys tennis team finished the season 12-0.
“It’s just talent,” head coach Jay DeVries said.
The varsity team of undefeated Vikings began playing tennis together their freshman year. The varsity team is comprised of 15 seniors. DeVries said it’s uncommon to have so many seniors on a team, but more uncommon than that; so many seniors that stuck with the tennis program.
Many of the players on the team play tennis for fun during the warmer months and during the high school season. Aside from State tennis players Zach Fohn, DeVries said the other tennis players do not play serious matches outside high school.
Then how does the team remain undefeated?
“They’re just good athletes and they’ve taken to the game,” DeVries said.
The Vikings team consists of multi-sport athletes, such as Chris Gracey, Alex Olson, Tyler Swansboro and Nick Tedford — to name a few. As athletes, the varsity players continue to push each other, creating stiff competition for a spot on the team.
Fohn, who took sixth at the 2A State Tournament last year, said competition for singles will be pretty tough when it comes to the postseason. The top five players in the State tournament, he said, will most likely come from the Olympic League and possibly the North Kitsap School District.
When it comes to a State return, Fohn said he’s ready. Last spring — boys tennis State tournaments are held in the spring — Fohn played in the semi-finals for the first time. The year before he lost in the first round. He knows what to expect when it comes to the tournament.
“I’ve just been playing much better,” Fohn said. “Serve is better … Feeling good.”
The Vikings will be eligible to enter three singles players and three doubles teams into Districts this season. Some of the players, such as Fohn and doubles team Steven Breitmayer/ Alex Olson will be seeded into Districts. There are a few slots up in the air, DeVries said.
The team is responding well to the amount of talent on the team, Assistant Coach Aaron Covey said. It may create friction sometimes, but the competition for seeding into tournaments within the Viking team keeps everyone playing their best, he said.
Covey began coaching four years ago, the same time year the seniors on the varsity team joined. He and DeVries both knew they had talent within the young group early on, he said.
“These boys all came in as freshman when I first started,” he said. “We knew we had good talent from the get-go.”
Along with the varsity team consistently building upon itself, Covey said the team helps out when it comes to the junior varsity team. The team consists of 37 players total (JV/Varsity). The coaches use input from the varsity team on what needs to be worked on.
The junior varsity team will have much to live up to next season. DeVries said it will be up to them to each player to practice outside of school. Otherwise, they only play six weeks in the fall. DeVries hopes he created incentive to step up to the varsity level by making it so competitive this season.